PNP reminds cops: Moonlighting as candidates' security detail prohibited

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2019 04:48 PM

Police monitoring a politician with 16 police guards

MANILA - The Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) has reminded all police personnel that moonlighting as security detail and involving themselves in politics especially this election period is prohibited.

PNP-IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said since the start of the campaign period, 16 police officers from the Zamboanga Peninsula were transferred due to “excessively guarding” a politician there. 

Based on PNP and Commission on Elections (Comelec) rules, only 2 police personnel are allowed to guard a candidate upon Comelec’s approval. 

This was implemented to prevent politicians and candidates from having a private armed group under the guise of having security detail.

“Dahil sa impluwensiya, at nandiyan sa batas natin na sila ang namimili ng chief of police nila at ang governor naman ang kanilang provincial director kaya ito ang aming ginagawa para matigil ang kanilang pag-abuso, sa kanilang pansarili, sa kanilang kandidatura at magamit itong mga pulis na ito,” Triambulo said.

(Because of influence and it's in the law that they get to choose the chief of police and the governor the provincial director, we do this to stop their abuses, tapping these police officers for personal use, for their candidacy.)

PNP-IAS said a certain politician pooled together 16 police personnel assigned to different municipalities to guard him even when he's just going to the market.

“To give color na wala silang PAGs (private armed groups) ay mga pulis ang kanilang ginagamit. 'Pag mag-request ka ay dalawa lang so hihingi itong kandidato sa isang munisipyo sa mayor ng dalawa, hihingi pa sa ibang munisipyo ng dalawa," Triambulo said. 

(They use the police to pretend that they no longer have PAGs. If you request for it, you're only given 2, so a candidate would ask for 2 from one town mayor, and 2 from another mayor.)

Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Director Chief Supt. Emmanuel Licup confirmed that the 16 police personnel were indeed used by the politician as guards. 

A total of 149 police officers have so far been reshuffled in the Zamboanga Peninsula for issues such as having a relative who is running for office, familiarity with politicians in the area, and being used as security detail. This number includes the 16 cops used by the politician under police monitoring. 

“We are moving people because of their alleged closeness, association, etc. blood and consanguinity relationship. By blood, consanguinity, by association,” Licup said.

He said some even use their guards for personal outings such as going for a tennis game or grabbing groceries. 

"Ginagawa natin dito based on the instruction of the SILG and chief PNP, dapat nga we have to warn people you have to maintain non-partisanship,” he added.

(We are doing this based on the instruction of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government and the chief PNP. We have to warn people that you have to maintain non-partisanship.)

Triambulo said they would inspect various regions, especially areas where there is intense political rivalry and vote-buying. 

PNP-IAS warned that officers working as private guards would face administrative charges such as grave misconduct, which may be penalized with a dismissal.